The start of Victoria’s Sheffield Shield season next week came one week too soon for batting star Will Pucovski, who is set to make his return from concussion at the MCG next month.
Victorian coach Chris Rogers revealed Pucovski had been back among the playing group in recent days after being forced to stand down following a 10th concussion.
The 22-year-old, who made his Test debut last summer against India, was struck in the head while batting in the nets but is “pretty positive” he’ll be back playing when Victoria takes on NSW in a Shield game starting November 5.
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Rogers said Pucovski was a “class” player who had shown a great capacity to hit the ground running.
His chances to prove himself for the Ashes is potentially down to just two games before the squad is picked, but Rogers thinks he could still give selectors “something to think about” ahead of the series against England.
“He’s shown before he can hit the ground running as he did last year where he got two 200s (for Victoria), so if he’s good enough to do something like that again then the selectors would definitely have something to consider,” Rogers said.
“He’s one of those players there’s an element of class. You know when you throw balls at him that it’s different.
“He’s been through this before, he knows what it’s like. He’s a pretty resilient guy now. If you go through this many setbacks you’ve got to have something about you. He’s going all right. Yesterday when I spoke to him he seemed pretty positive, so that’s all I can say.
“Hopefully, by the time the first Test comes around he’s in pretty good shape.”
Rogers said there was no long-term concern over Pucovski wanting to keep playing despite suffering so many knocks and the potential for lingering effects from concussion.
“He sees specialists so they’ll be talking to him about that and obviously that’s got to play a role at some stage, but at the moment he’s still keen to continue on,” he said.
“He’s been in the last few days and he looks pretty good.”
The Vics will open their season against NSW in a Shield clash at Drummoyne Oval in Sydney next week.
Pucovski won’t travel with the squad and will instead stay in Melbourne to continue his recovery with a view to playing on November 5 against NSW at the MCG.